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086: The Transformative Journey of Grief with Jasmin Jenkins

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Grief equates to sadness for most of us, but can we go further with it and actually experience the transformative journey of grief? Our guest is here to tell us how.

Jasmin Jenkins is an Integrative Grief Guide and the founder of Fall Up, a community created to support people navigating the spectrum of grief. In her work, she brings her clients into the invitations within their grief journeys and supports them in co-creating a healing process through the transformative journey of grief.

Because this is an atypical topic, and a very unique career path, I was curious to know where it all began for Jasmin and that is where we begin our episode of Awesome Health Podcast today.

Jasmin’s mom died of cancer when she was 15. Her mom had been diagnosed a few years earlier and had been in and out of remission until she ultimately lost her battle. Jasmin was devastated but didn’t have the tools or the emotional capacity to talk about her feelings. Instead, she shut everything down internally. Until her brother took his own life 10 years later, then she woke up and began her own healing journey.

She says she never would have imagined 11 years ago that today she would be holding space for so many different aspects of grief, but she now does it with gratitude and reverence. She believes it is one of the deepest honors to have another person share their grief journey with her.

We go on to talk about the specifics of her own transformative journey of grief, and some of the healing modalities that were most helpful for her: EMDR and plant medicine. EMDR stands for eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing, and it is a therapeutic tool that she used a few months after her brother died. The three plant medicines she used were ayahuasca, kanna and sassafras. She explains plant medicine can be very beneficial when you are with the right teacher at the right time so do your due diligence ahead of time.

She also describes the four invitations that grief offers us: pause, breathe, feel and heal. These are the framework for the work she does. And if you are in the midst of grief or are feeling a heavy weight from loss, Jasmin suggests treating these feelings like you would a small child: with kindness and gentleness.

You can uncover more pearls of wisdom from her when you join us for this touching edition of Awesome Health Podcast.

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another episode of the Awesome Health Podcast. And today we're taking a different turn and something that's very close to my heart and everybody is going to experience that. And we're going to talk about something that a lot of people don't talk about and that's called grief.

Wade Lightheart: And we have for you an expert today who suggests that grief is an invitation to transformation. So our guest today is Jasmin Jenkins and she is an integrative grief guide and the founder of Fall Up, a community created to support people, navigating the spectrum of grief. This is an unavoidable thing. As humans in her work, she brings her clients into the invitations with their grief journeys. Jasmin believes that healing is a co-creative process and it is her deepest joy to support each person she works with welcoming grief as a profound invitation to transformation. And this is a very interesting concept that I think is something. If you're feeling some grief, we're going to dive into a little bit more. So Jasmin Jenkins, her unique path of service is as an integrative grief guide, she was ushered into existence through two decades, devoted to personal healing and transformation.

Wade Lightheart: Following the loss of both her mother and brother, this journey of transforming her grief coupled with a deep desire to help others gave Jasmin a resounding clarity that her calling was to serve others in healing their grief. Beautiful to take tragedy and turn it into triumph as well as supporting others. I can relate to that when the loss of my sister back in the day, which set up so many things in my life. Jasmin offers support circles for those seeking a community based on integration and shared experiences, a space for being there for each other within the journey of healing followup is currently offering only virtual circles. For those who know grieving alone can only take them so far. So bottom line is we're going to talk about a lot of things in some frameworks. Jasmin, welcome to the Awesome Health Podcast.

Jasmin Jenkins: Thank you, Wade so much for having me and honoring your sister with you. Thank you for sharing about that with me. I share this a lot but it bears repeating. I really believe that shared grief is shared courage. Anytime we share about our grief, we're inviting people to expand and in our heart space and courage. So thank you for having me. It's an honor to be here.

Wade Lightheart: I get asked about this a lot and we're going to get into your story in a second, but for listeners and as a human, the people that you love the most, ultimately as the ones that you're going to experience the most grief with, that's the kind of agreement that you have whether that's a sibling, whether that's a parent or whether that's a partner or a child. One of you in that relationship is going to experience the loss either through separation of some sort or through death. And sometimes these can be very tragic and difficult circumstances in my own life might watch my sister go through four years of cancer treatment and go from a high performance athlete and wasting away. And then the fights and the tragedy that went with my parents and her and the discussions and it just completely takes over your life.

Wade Lightheart: So grief is not only just the incident, but sometimes it's the process of getting to the incident or what happens after the incident that could be fighting for estate taxes and squabbles that come up and it just becomes even more devastating than there's a lot unresolved issues with maybe the person that has passed on or gone through something or transformation or loss of relationship or whatever happens to be. Jasmin, can you talk about your own story of grief and maybe you can give the listeners a little background of what happened, what you experienced and then how you found recovery and what led you to become a grief guide? I mean, I've never heard of a grief guide. I mean, that's pretty cool. I think it's something that is so great. And I'm just so grateful that you would come on here and talk about it, cause I know there's people listening that are suffering right now.

Jasmin Jenkins: Thank you for the question Wade and my journey with grief really started when I was 13, it sounds like not so similar to what you experienced with your sister. My mom had cancer and so we were in and out of remission and recurrence for a couple of years. And then my mom did die when I was 15. And, you know, as a 15 year old, I didn't have the wherewithal to really tune into my emotions. Everything just kind of shut down. I know I was concerned about my dad and my brother, and that was kind of that. Then 10 years later, my brother ended his own life and that really woke me up and brought me into a place of awakening and really in the place of pain that I didn't at 15, have the wherewithal to acknowledge or to even know how to go into. When I say awakening into my brothers, my brothers death was the catalyst for me, really exploring the invitation to heal that I think opens that…. There's a helicopter. Sorry. Do you want me to…?

Wade Lightheart: No, keep going. We don't mind helicopters.

Jasmin Jenkins: There are so many in LA… My brother's death opened me to the path that I entered in onto 11 years ago, intentionally healing myself and ultimately arriving at the place where I am now serving people in their grief journeys and the healing of their grief journeys. And, you know, calling, we don't choose our callings. I think callings choose us. And I never would have imagined 11 years ago when I first really entered into a place of intentional healing that I would be holding space for so many different aspects of grief, but I do it with such gratitude and I think it's really one of the deepest honors to have another person let you into their grief journey. But to fully answer your question when I arrived at the place where I no longer felt burdened by my grief, that's when kind of the light bulb went off like, okay, you're no longer kind of beholden to this energy and this has been lifted for you.

Jasmin Jenkins: And it's time to support others in alchemizing the energy of grief because the etymology of grief traces back to the word burden. And that is so much of what we carry with us. We carry our grief like a burden and there aren't really a lot of safe places to open up in the way that we need to open up in order to heal. This is really the healer's path. I'm an integrative grief guide because grief is part of the whole, it's not meant to be outside of or pushed down. It's meant to bring us into presence with life. And, you know, we don't really fully learn from something unless we integrate with it. And that's what I do. And that's how I support my clients and my community.

Wade Lightheart: I want to go back in time because if I look at my own journey it probably took me about a decade to fully fill the impact of what had transpired with my sister's death and even the process of leading up. And I had deep conversations with her as a teenager especially after she got terminal and we knew that the end was coming and what that was like. And so that was at a very formative part of my life, which changed my perception of life and change my risk averseness. So I took a lot more chances in life and experienced a lot more things in life because of that and ended up in a field where I was able to help. Now I serve actually as someone who assist with the American anti cancer Institute, which is really great to helping people in their journey, either through the recovery or post a recovery or even to preventative components.

Wade Lightheart: And it's been a great thing. I often reflect, and I bring her up so many times because had I not gone through that horrific situation, my life and my contribution in world might be a lot different today. The question that I have is, and for me, I drove into my sport. I drove into training, I drove into nutrition. I went into exercise science, subconsciously I believe trying to avoid it if same fate for myself. What would you say was the difference between maybe what happened to you when you watched your mother relative to your brother? And was there a correlation between the two events or was there some other things? I'd like to kind of dive into that because a lot of people just suppress that stuff and push it away. And then another people only feel that they can say connected to the loved ones that have passed on, for example, or left through the emotion of grief that they feel. If they give up their grief, they lose the connection. So what have you been able to discover in your own journey and then how you've applied it in your work?

Jasmin Jenkins: I'm so glad that you spoke to that way. That is such a theme that I witness and observe is the fear. Well, if I really go into this and I'm going to lose all of the connection in terms of the grief as people staying stuck in their grief, because they're afraid of another loss. So the illuminating moment for me came when I was in Boston with my late brother's fiance at the time. And we had gone there to really clear out where he'd been living and a woman,one of his neighbors, he was newly in this space, but she camedown the street kind of up in arms and almost to caution me and his fiance. Like, you don't need to do this. You don't need to get rid of everything so quickly.

Jasmin Jenkins: She said, I lost my daughter, 20 something years ago, and I've never changed anything in her room. Like it's still the same. And I want you to know that if you want to do that, you can do that. And hearing her and witnessing her, broke my heart in such a real way. I kind of made a promise to myself that I wouldn't ever relate to my grief in that way. And I felt like that's kind of what I did with my mom, not intentionally, but I was so shut down and I didn't know how to go into the feelings and then my brother's death…., Because, you know, as anybody who's experienced a sudden death, it's traumatic. It shook me up and it shook me back into life. And the knowing that I couldn't do it alone.

Jasmin Jenkins: So it was the asking for help that really catalyzed me onto the healing journey that I mentioned earlier, and that I will always be on a healing journey and I don't think that we are until we're done with our earthly assignments, we're hopefully healing through something. I think the greatest differentiator after losing my brother and seeing that woman and meeting her and feeling that compassion for her, I was able to bring that to myself, that compassion to myself, to know that the 15 year old girl in me who didn't get that presence and care that I was able to give myself at 25 through encouragement and love for my dad as well. That is what really allowed this particular experience of losing my brother to bring me into healing in such a way that I can now serve others and hold space for the full spectrum of grief. Cause there's the grief that comes as you know, with your sister, the profound grief that comes with death. And then there is also the everyday grief with unmet expectations and transitions that we've all been navigating, especially since covid hit in March.

Wade Lightheart: Really, really great information. I got so many questions here, I'll try to give them out systematically. What were some of the things that you did maybe around your mother's death that you decided that you would do differently around your brothers? So if you could compare those two things, cause when you said you kind of suppressed and then the other one said, I'm not going to do that again. I'm going to find a different way. So what were some of the common elements that maybe you can relate to that other people say, yeah, I've done that. You know what I mean? Like, I know in my own case, just to be transparent, there was part of me that I believe that felt well, how come she died?

Wade Lightheart: And I didn't, how come she got so sick and some of the conversations I had with my sister at the time were hard that she felt that she got the raw end of the deal. And there was a certain. You know, here we are the same parents, same life, same everything. And I have robust health and she dies at the age of 22 and it isn't fair. And I she or she was in the last few months when I graduated from high school going to university. And I looked back on my yearbook and I wrote life is not fair. So neither am I. Like, I really felt that emotionally. And I didn't realize how much it was influencing my life at the time, looking back now, I don't see that as the case at all, but that was how I was able to interpret it with my 18 year old self, with no skills and no connection and nobody to talk to really, and no way to unpack that. What were the things that you looking backwards, you probably did that you would do differently today?

Jasmin Jenkins: Well, after my mum died, I was very much in a place of you know, my brother had mental health struggles, so it was very concerned with is he okay, and then we were just a year apart. He was a year younger than I was. And my dad, like many widows is navigating his journey with sadness and sorrow. And so I was very preoccupied with both of them at 15. You know, wondering about things I wasn't really wondering about what boy likes me at school, but I was more worried about like, is my dad, is he gonna eat, you know, dinner and take care of himself? And is my brother going to pass out in the garage with his friends or whatever, you know? So I was very concerned with my immediate family members instead of being concerned with myself and taking care of myself.

Jasmin Jenkins: And this is such a theme for people that are already caretakers and family systems that they end up taking care of the people around themselves in order to heal. I needed to pause, breathe and feel and bring the energy back into my heart space. So I give myself grace at 15. I didn't know how to do that. But I am profoundly grateful that 20 at 25, I was able to seek the healing that I really needed to bring me into a place of peace and acceptance, which I'm sure you're familiar with the stages of grief and acceptances. Ultimately the last stage
Wade Lightheart: Can you share those with our listeners right now?

Jasmin Jenkins: Sure. So denial, which I think you spoke to a little bit just like being in that place of denial when we have a diagnosis or is this not going to be what we think it might be denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And I mean, surprise, you don't go through them in a linear fashion. Sometimes depression will come and then other times you may feel anger. And one day you may wake up feeling completely and accept an acceptance. And then you have a trigger later in that day. And it reminds you, I've got a little bit more presence to bring to this pain, right? So yeah, those are the stages. And Claire Bidwell Smith wrote a beautiful book about anxiety "The missing stage of grief" that I think is really important because so many of us who've experienced particularly profound grief we're in that place of waiting for the next shoe to drop. And we don't realize, Oh, this is anxiety.

Wade Lightheart: That's so true. That's so true. Is this happening to me? When's the next person? And the phone rings. You're like, Oh no, is it something bad news, whatever that happens to be there, there is a real period of that.
Jasmin Jenkins: And so really acknowledging, and then bringing love and kindness to the anxiety and like a sense of friendliness. I named my anxiety and it's like, when you can connect in that way, it's helps to disempower the intensity of the emotion.

Wade Lightheart: Like identifying. Oh, it's, you know, it's negative Nancy that came, the bad term to use, but it's an associative person or item or concept that you use to kind of be able to look at that feeling. Is that what you're really saying?

Jasmin Jenkins: Yeah. Personally, ultimately it's personifying that emotional experience, which is anxiety, which really is a part of grief. I mean, anxiety as I'm sure, you know, it's future, it's not present. We have to counter it with a friendliness and a curiosity of, okay, what is it that I'm afraid of right now? And how can I bring love to myself and gentlemen in this to myself in this fear? Like I was terrified for years after my brother died that any phone call, I didn't know, I didn't, I wasn't registered in my phone as a contact. I thought for sure it was a phone call that was going to tell me that's, you know, somebody that I loved had died. So, and I know this is a very common this is very common, which is why I'm speaking to it to help normalize this, this particular anxiety and the grief that is specific to sudden and tragic loss.

Wade Lightheart: You know, it's very interesting. I'm a big student of dr. David Hawkins and his map of consciousness. And he talks about the lower energy fields and in grief as being down at the low, but there's grief can move into apathy and these very kind of almost catatonic states that can be even more destructive than the grief itself. If people think that griefs the bottom, it's not necessarily the bottom, you can go below that. As a response mechanism, right there almost like a hopelessness state, especially in extreme travel tribe, travesty or inability, what are some of the things that you notice in your work in around coping mechanisms that people engage that may not be fruitful? So they might go say, Hey, I'm doing that.

Jasmin Jenkins: Well, I think in what we just were speaking about anxiety the unhealthy coping mechanism of obsessive thinking and obsessively trying to plan grief out of reentering your life is a coping mechanism that I observe consistently. A theme is unfortunately that I observed, but is this is true for everyone wherever you are. The coping mechanism of avoiding, avoiding the pain and forgetting that there's medicine in the pain and truly that there's medicine in the pain. And I really believe I'm so glad that you brought up the lower states of energy because you're exactly right. Like when we don't feel through our grief and we don't literally drank the medicine of our emotions, we become catatonic and we are asleep to this beautiful experience that we can in turn, be awake to.

Jasmin Jenkins: And that's where disease comes in and so many other things. So I think the biggest thing is really trying, is witnessing people, trying to plan grief out of your life instead of being gentle with what the grief that you already have and knowing that it is going to come in and that you can breathe through whatever comes up and also acknowledging that,when we feel through our feelings, that is how we get to experience healing and grief. And so many people avoid because they're afraid of the deep end when really the deep end is, is how we get to, to rise again.

Wade Lightheart: Perfect. I think it was the Buddhist said that, you know, old age sickness and death,overty, all these suffering was concordance with living life. There was no way of avoiding it. And the goal was to find meaning out of the suffering or meaning from the grief. And I was able to do that over a considerable amount of work and being able to dance with the inconvenient truth, that for all of us, life is a very short and journey that often ends sooner than we hoped or sooner than we wanted. What are some of the things that you did to kind of unplug from this or not really unplugged, I guess it would be amplify your awareness. Cause I believe that pain is not necessarily something to be avoided. It is a heightened sense of awareness. And in that heightened sense of awareness, think in the West, we don't develop an honesty because we're so addicted to comfort with pain and to actually leverage pain in a way that increases our awareness about ourselves, about other people. And it can be a great cultivation of empathy. What were some of the things that you did particularly with your brother and that you did differently, or some things that maybe you tried that didn't work or some things that did in that journey?

Jasmin Jenkins: Sure. So EMDR is a very powerful healing modality, especially for those who have experienced a trauma. It's Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It's a kinesthetic modality and it's an audio kinesthetic modality, and it takes you back into the memory. And then in doing that, it is taking the memory out of your somatic body through time. And it's, it's so powerful.

Wade Lightheart: That's really cool. And you went to that shortly afterwards or…?

Jasmin Jenkins: Yeah, I did my first EMDR session in the fall of 2009 and my brother died in the summer of 2009. It was rather, it was rather soon, but I was ready. Like I was ready to go in, plant medicine has been a very powerful ally for me and healing and really getting into.

Wade Lightheart: What types of plant medicine have you leveraged?

Jasmin Jenkins: A grandmother medicine. So ayahuasca has been very healing for me.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. I've done that and seen great results with a lot of people pretended attended the guidance at the right setting and a teacher.

Jasmin Jenkins: Yes. That is exactly it, the right setting, the right teacher. And regular medicine is not right for everyone. And so I do want to say that, sassafras and kanna are two other plant medicines that have been very healing for me. I don't know if you're familiar with kanna at all, that it's a very powerful heart opener. Uand that's where the, you know, the heart of the issue with grief is the heart. So when we can go in with presence into the heart, we can lift out the sadness and anger and sorrow. Those are three types of plant medicine that have been particularly healing for me.

Wade Lightheart: I think there's some extraordinary value in leveraging these, if they're under the guidance of right person, unfortunately in the digital age, there's also some very pseudo connected and you really want to have a good background and understanding of psychology and neurochemistry and things like that. If you're going to engage in that. So if you're interested in those things, make sure you do your due diligence. These are not recreational chemicals. They're very potent, very powerful construct, a lot of stuff. And so people need the right methodology, but they can also be extraordinary tools used in the right environment. So I've used them myself. I think they're great. I didn't have access to them back in the day. So I was able to do it other ways. But then I found deeper aspects of grief that were able to be addressed and myself and many of my friends and clients, I also have the same reports. What else do you feel is components that meet people need required? Because again, you can have all the techniques or whatever, but there's also support like being with someone who understands what might be right for you, how to go through the process, how to identify things that you're not paying attention to. And because these are probably some of the things that you do, I would believe.

Jasmin Jenkins: Absolutely. And I really believe community accelerates healing. With the subtext that all of the stories have medicine for each other. So when I lead healing circles, there may sometimes be a person who's recently lost a pet, and there's also somebody who's lost a parent and somebody who's lost a child and guess what they all have medicine for each other. And that's a beautiful thing when we don't compare our grief because in the same way that comparison is the thief of joy, comparing our grief is a thief of healing with a healing art and being present with our grief it's ultimately, it's the healing circles are really powerful and to facilitate I really do everything in partnership with the divine and a willing conduit. But I think that if you're listening and maybe you're in grief and you're feeling like what's a way to accelerate and to start to lift some of this heavier energy, finding a community group is a beautiful way to begin alchemizing your grief.

Wade Lightheart: That's beautiful. Now I understand that you also lead a lot of these groups in group settings and stuff for transformation, and you've created a set of frameworks. I believe that you called the four invitations of grief. Can you unpack what the four invitations are and then maybe a little bit about these communities and what's involved with that. And then we'll get into some checkpoints that people can do if they're going through a grieving process or a situation has come up in experiencing grief. And there's a lot of that going on with COVID, especially around loss of jobs, businesses being closed, all sorts of things, and people are reacting in a variety of different worlds. I saw an alcoholism's gone up a violence against children has gone up. I've seenbankruptcies go up business like these domestic abuse increase in anxiety, drugs being prescribed and used. There's a host of things that people are doing that are very negative and coping with the loss of maybe one's life or with their identity or associations that may or may not come back. Just walk us through that whole thing. And I'd love to hear your feedback.

Jasmin Jenkins: So the four invitations, it was a spiritual download that I received. And I really asked the divine for a simple sacred framework through which to support my clients and my communities becausegrief can be so messy and so confusing and they can feel sometimes like which way is up, which way is out. The invitations are really meant to bring the people that I serve into the truth that grief is, and is ultimately an invitation for both growth and transformation. And when we can think of our grief as an invitation, we can soften into it. So the foreign rotations, they can become a mantra. They're meant to serve you wherever you are on the spectrum of grief. And like you just spoke to, there has been so much grief around unmet expectations this year, the expectation I'm gonna get my bonus at the end of the year.

Jasmin Jenkins: I'm gonna take this holiday. I'm gonna get married here. So many different things. A lot of profundity as well, not that any of those aren't profound, but a lot of death and suffering as well. The first invitation is the invitation to pause, remembering that the pause is an action step and pausing and being with our heart is not unproductive. It's not lazy. It's about tuning back into where the healing happens. So the invitation to pause the invitation to breathe, remembering that our breath is a technology and it is there to anchor us through whatever emotion that comes up. It's also there to be leveraged so that we can move through the emotions that are coming up. And really especially when we're dealing with the grief that's particularly traumatic the breath usually only goes down so far.

Jasmin Jenkins: So really bringing in embracing the invitation to breathe all the way down into your lower abdomen. Then the third invitation is the invitation to feel which there is such a profound version to feeling with grief. This is where people get so stuck and say, and stay so stuck. But when we can remember that feelings are just information about the state of our heart we can start to enter into a place of healing with them. And then the last invitation is the invitation to heal. So I really believe that all of our grief is as unique as our fingerprint, you know, we can be going through and it family system, you can be going through the loss of the same person, but you're all gonna handle it in a different way. So permission to be true to your grief and permission with that being true, to find the healing modalities that are in service to what you need to bring in order to return with greater presence to life. So pause, breathe, feel, and heal. We can make it a mantra, those invitations are there for you to soften into the layers within your grief and to really heal and continue integrating and remembering that grief is a part of the whole of those.

Wade Lightheart: Four things were pause, breathe, feel, and heal. Yes, it's a great framework. That's super profound. And I think we've all we witnessed that particularly, you'll see a child that may have a disrupt and you know, that they start and they hyperventilate, or they're getting the anxiety and then they start taking those kind of deep breaths and sometimes they'll cry and then you have a nice conversation with them and then they kind of get around. And the next thing, they're out running on the soccer field again, and they're fine. And I think children, there's a lot of innate wisdom that happens with the children because it's kind of like an automatic response that they go through. However, as we get to adults or we get into projected ideas of society, we kind of get locked into these models where, well, I'm an adult now.

Wade Lightheart: I don't have time to waste. I can't take time. I've got to take care of this and you are not breathing. That sounds like something cool that yoga, I don't have time to do that. And you know, I remember Jacob Wilner, one of his podcasts is like someone said about feelings. Like, we don't have feelings around here. You know, a man who's probably faced an conceivable levels of grief and then the healing process, and that can entail a lot of things. So beautiful. It's really beautiful. I'm really experiencing that. Talk to me about your work in the groups that you have and the type of people that come to you and how you take them through that process so that they can kind of go through these stages i in asystemic way or systematic way and find their own process for healing.

Jasmin Jenkins: Yeah. I'd love to speak to that. One thing I just felt called to speak to with respect to what you just shared, is the wisdom of children. And they are such profound teachers for us. And one of my new client intake questions is always, do you remember the first time that you felt grief? And then if so, which most people do, how did you handle it? And it's usually tears some screaming, some expression, and then over time that's conditioned out of us. So it's part of initiating that internal conversation with healing grief is remembering, you know, healing as a remembering and remembering, All of that, all of that was healing. I work with my clients who I consider to be my co-creators in healing. One-On-One and I am in service of everyone from people that are going through a divorce to sibling loss, partner loss the metaphorical deaths, as well as the actual death.

Jasmin Jenkins: And, you know, as I've shared with you, core teaching is that grief is an invitation to growth. So we start from that place and we're not like I am not here to really do a ton of backlog and history. It's really about what is most present and what is the vision that you want to hold for yourself. So it's holding the current grief with the joy, which is really called living. Then with my circles, hey're more themed and specific. So supporting motherless daughters, supporting widows and supporting specific groups of ultimately grievers, pople that are transitioning out of an identity and feeling into the support and the healing that comes when we show up for each other. And I truly believe that it is intention that opens us to transformation. So whether it's one-on-one or circle, everything starts with intention, case that's how we really get to expand. And then we have that energy of accountability during our session and during the container that we're working together.

Wade Lightheart: One of the things that I've noticed is that people who go through grief and experiences tragic experiences, oftentimes develop very deep bonds. And you see this particularly around maybe families that have had connected through a sick family members of similar industry of things. You also see it in a large calamities, if you think of the world trade centers coming down and the collective grief that's still shared to this day, 20 years later. And then also you see it. So, frequently in military personnel who have been subjected to really horrific situations of the darkest aspect of the human condition, just war and murder and violence and things like that. And their friends and coworkers, you know, being often mutilated badly or destroyed and things like that. And these are very traumatic events beyond the bonding of grief.

Wade Lightheart: I'd like you to speak a little bit about that invitation to heal and that transformative aspect that you've been able to found, I've been able to find that turned that grief into something beautiful or something expansive or something that added a more greater context or richness to life. What would you say is the other side of grief? I think for people listening, cause I don't want to just paint this kind of dark process that people have to go through. I think there's an invitation there as you, as you talked about what is the invitation in the healing side of grief?

Jasmin Jenkins: Well, to answer your question about what is on the other side it's gratitude. You know, it's profound expanse of gratitude to get to wake up in the morning, to get to drink clean water, to have nourishing food, to see a loved one, to get to be alive. So what is on the other side is gratitude, but it's also through holding gratitude, even in our grief that we can really move into that place with move with more flow in our grief. And I know that may sound like a paradox, but when we practice gratitude in the midst of deep grief we get to the other side sooner.

Wade Lightheart: Super, you know, one of the things I've noticed too, is many of the most grateful, happiest people I've met have gone through some of the most extraordinary levels of travesty and grief in their lives. And I always find that a remarkable paradigm that seems on the surface, the opposite, but you begin to appreciate each and every day, the simple things in life, and there's so much to be grateful for. And sometimes grief has to remind ourselves of that. I think is there any other areas that you'd like to kind of touch on in your work that we haven't covered here in that you think is really important for people to kind of get access to?

Jasmin Jenkins: I think, the other thing that I wanted to share is kind of the extension of gratitude is celebration. So really coming into celebration is an energy of electricity and really understanding the impermanence of all of this. And so with that my friend Jelena, who is the founder of this beautiful project called the Confetti project, we are collaborating on a series of circles called grief as celebration circles with the intention to really bring those who are present into the invitation that grief brings into our lives to come into presence with celebration and really opening to the fullness instead of shutting down, which is the shadow side of grief is being in that contracted state. So the grief has celebration circles. I'm very excited about, I think that confetti,I truly believe that confetti can be right next to me, I want to throw it. It's the tool that brings, you know, we've seen it at weddings, you see it at these joyous occasions and it's also really beautiful to throw it and to honor the transitions in life. And I'm really excited to be, we have our first circle on Saturday and we're really excited be exploring howthis like paper can bring us into presence with life, which is the greatest teaching of grief is presence with impermanence, which is life.

Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said, one quick question. I came up is what are some of the, like, let's say someone's listening to this. And they either are in a very traumatic experience that folk grief or they know somebody, what are the action steps that you feel they need to kind of implement so that they don't develop this kind of suppressive or repressive nature that clouds really the rest of their existence with, you know, horrific effects? What would you say a person should consider?

Jasmin Jenkins: Such a beautiful and important question. And I think the answer that feels true for me to share is to treat your grief or to meet your grief, like you would a small child. In other words, with gentleness and with kindness and friendliness, instead of treating grief, like it is this grim Reaper and it has nothing for you. Protection and gentleness Treating your grief like you would a small child. I think most of us that are sensitive feeling kind people, when you see a small child that kind of like you, you lower down to their level and you want to say, hello, what's your name? What is it you're playing with? And just bringing that sense of tenderness into your grief is what allows us to start to soften into the medicine that's present for us in our grief, which is all within the feeling of it.
Wade Lightheart: As beautiful. And I understand that if people are going through grief there, you have a intake form. You do counseling and things like that. Can you share with people what the process is if they want to work with you or want to reach out to you or find out more about these groups that you organize and things like that?

Wade Lightheart: Sure. So everything is offered through my website, which is wefall up.com. So I believe that the falling apart leads to following up on the action and of rising through whatever it is that we're navigating in our grief. And you can find information about my integrative grief guidance and my circles on wefollowup.com.

Wade Lightheart: Jasmin Jenkins. This is super beautiful in the work that you do. I'm really wanting to and honor that it says such a powerful place that you're holding for people who are going through very difficult times. And I think it's a great example of what's possible. Obviously the situations that you've endured is certainly something that could paralyze people with grief. And you've found meaning not only meaning for yourself, but a message and a pathway to help others transform that. And if there's ever a better example of how grief can be an invitation to heal, not just for yourself, but for everybody in your sphere. You're a shining example of that. And it's an honor to have you on the podcast.

Jasmin Jenkins: Thank you so much Wade. It was an honor to be here with you and thank you for a beautiful conversation. And again, honoring your sister and her legacy, living out through you.

Wade Lightheart: Thank you very much. And for all our listenersat BiOptimizers look, grief is something that we can't avoid. It's going to happen to us sooner or later. And the sooner that you learn about these things like pause, breathe, feel, and heal. You share this message, share this podcast and reach out to people and talk about these things that feel uncomfortable to talk about. And you'll find that there is an extraordinary possibility of transformation, and you never know where that might lead, but I can say it will lead you in places that will be able to allow you to cultivate a new level of gratitude and appreciation for life. Jasmin, thank you so much for joining us and for all our BiOptimizers listeners at the Awesome Health Podcast. There it is. It's grief how to deal with it. Pause, breathe, feeling heal. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you again. On the next episode of the Awesome Health Podcast with BiOptimizers. I'm Wade T Lightheart wishing you and your family, the greatest of gratitude and the healing for whatever grief you might be going through. Thank you.
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